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Mensa International
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Mensa International

Mensa is an organization for people with high IQs. Its sole requirement for entry is that potential members must score within the top 2% in any approved standardized intelligence test.

Background information

Roland Berrill, an Australian barrister, and Dr. Lancelot Ware, an English scientist and lawyer, founded Mensa in England in 1946. They had the idea of forming a society for bright people, the only qualification for membership of which was a high IQ. The original aims were, as they are today, to create a non-political society free from all racial or religious distinctions. The society welcomes all people, regardless of background, whose IQs meet the criteria, with the objective of members enjoying each other's company and participating in a wide range of social and cultural activities. Mensa accepts individuals who score in the 98th percentile on standardized IQ tests such as the Stanford-Binet.

Mensa International has over 100,000 members, with over 50,000 in the United States alone. In addition to encouraging social interaction among its members, the organization is also involved with programs for gifted children, literacy, and scholarships. The name comes from mensa, the Latin word for "table," and indicates that it is a round-table society of equals. The name was once planned to be Mens, Latin for "mind," but this was potentially confusing.

Mensa's goals

Mensa has three stated purposes: to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity; to encourage research in the nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence; and to promote stimulating intellectual and social opportunities for its members.

Mensa has published a number of books, including Poetry Mensa (in 1966), an anthology of poems by Mensans all over the world, and not all of them in English.

Spanish translation

Although mensa is from a latin word, people who speak Spanish might view the name of this organization as ironic. The direct translation of mensa is stupid female, menso meaning stupid male in Spanish (at least in Colombia).

External links

See also, List of high IQ societies